Broward County Climate Change Task Force and Climate Change InitiativesBy:
January 29, 2010
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Project Summary / Overview
As a response to global, national, and state initiatives and to south Florida’s vulnerability to climate change, Broward County initiated a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a resolution to support the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement in 2007. One of the methods to address climate change impacts in the county was the creation of the Broward County Climate Change Task Force in 2008. The Task Force was created to provide recommendations on strategies for Broward County to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Climate change planning has become a priority in Florida since 2007 when Governor Crist signed three executive orders that initiated Florida’s energy policy, created a Florida Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change, and developed 2008 energy/climate legislation. Broward County followed Florida’s leadership by signing onto the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement in 2007 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, initiate a greenhouse gas reduction workgroup focused on government operations, and develop a Broward County Climate Change Task Force in 2008 to develop an Action Plan.
The Broward County Climate Change Task Force was created to develop recommendations for the Board of County Commissioners on mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce climate change impacts on the county. The Broward Climate Change Action Plan (Action Plan) was developed in 2010 through analysis of climate science, community participation, and the recommendations of the Task Force. A series of recommendations were created with the analysis of three main types of information: sea level rise projections, greenhouse gas emissions and sources, and a coastal vulnerability assessment.
The Action Plan recommends that the county:
- Create an Office of Sustainability/Climate Program;
- Support a regional collaborative climate action plan;
- Collaborate on joint legislative policies with neighboring counties;
- Amend the county’s comprehensive plan;
- Support Everglades restoration and enhance the urban ecosystem;
- Incorporate climate change adaptation into public infrastructure planning;
- Protect water resources;
- Improve modeling, monitoring, and mappings;
- Amend zoning and building regulations;
- Create a functional mass transportation system;
- Develop a renewable and alternative energy program;
- Increase recycling and promote zero waste;
- Support marketing and incentives in energy conservation for low income households; and
- Provide climate change community outreach and education on mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Other Broward County climate change initiatives include:
- Green effort to reduce greenhouse gases in Broward county government operations.
- School Conservation and Climate Change Challenge program (the C3 Challenge).
- A climate change leadership summit to develop regional collaboration with the neighboring counties in south Florida including Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. The result of the summit was a climate compact ratified by all four Counties in January 2010.
- Carbon footprint training for municipalities in the county and the launch of a website to provide climate and energy program-related resources for municipalities.
Project Outcomes and Conclusions
Broward County has been successful in catalyzing and initiating a climate program for the region. Through the recommendations of the Broward County Climate Change Task Force and the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Leadership Summit, Broward County is in the position to partner in the development of a regional climate change action plan in south Florida with adjacent counties.